West-MEC Takes to the Skies

Submitted by Adriana Alvarado.

McCarthy Building Companies are constructing an innovative aircraft hangar training facility in Glendale, AZ. Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC) will soon operate an aviation maintenance program for West Valley high school students. The two-year program will prepare students for careers in aviation maintenance and repair. Students learn Federal Aviation Administration-approved curriculum and may test for an aviation technician license upon completion of more than 1900 hours of training.

McCarthy Building Companies was awarded the Design-Build contract to construct the $7.5 million West-MEC Aviation Training Center located in Glendale, Arizona. Construction on the West-MEC Aviation Training Center began in early fall 2010 and completed in April 2011. The 40,900 square foot metal building hangar will be used for hands-on, specialized training in aircraft systems maintenance. The Center’s two-story building will house seven classrooms, training labs, welding area, meeting space, a library, a computer lab and offices.

The Center will be incorporating energy efficient components to reduce operating costs, which include: high-reflective roof to deflect heat; building insulation with energy rated Rfactor; EVAP coolers with air movement system for proper temperature control; efficient lighting system with strategic window placement for natural light; and LED fixtures. Many of the building products selected were manufactured using recycled material. “We enjoy these unique projects, which allow us to incorporate our pre-engineered services with energy-efficient ideas and vast experience in education-facility construction, said Rob Langhoff, Sr. Vice President of Education Services for McCarthy Building Companies. “The Aviation Center is sure to be a great resource to the West Valley school districts, and we are proud to be part of making it happen.”

Guidance from West-MEC’s business and industry advisory committee coupled with extensive research of future labor trends proved a need for a program that prepares students with advanced skill sets in the aviation technician field. “West-MEC strives to provide career-driven programs to prepare students to enter the workforce. McCarthy Building Companies and DLR Group have created an innovative training center that reflects the aviation industry and conveys West-MEC’s vision,” said West-MEC Assistant to the Superintendent and Aviation Program Director Cliff Migal. “This unique site will positively impact the lives of students and contribute to the overall economic progress in the city of Glendale and the West Valley.”

The aviation technology program will launch in August 2011 with 50 high school students and up to seven employees. Another class of 50 students will join in the second year. Students earn twelve high school credits throughout the course of the training. The program will meet four hours a day, Monday through Friday. Students will also meet 62 days over two summers to meet the 1,952 hours of required FAA instruction. Once a student has completed the curriculum and is at least 18 years old, he/she is eligible to take the final exam for certification.

West-MEC plans to make training available for adult students at a higher fee in January 2012 but for now, the program will cater to junior and senior students in West-MEC member district high schools. Students must register with their high school counselor and pay a $500 program fee to cover the cost of FAA training textbooks, safety gear, equipment and uniforms. More information is available at www.west-mec.org.